What It’s Like to Retire in Istanbul
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,603,134 (+0.55%)       elbourne $989,193 (-0.36%)       Brisbane $963,516 (+0.83%)       Adelaide $873,972 (+1.09%)       Perth $833,820 (+0.12%)       Hobart $754,479 (+3.18%)       Darwin $668,319 (-0.54%)       Canberra $993,398 (-1.72%)       National $1,033,710 (+0.29%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $748,302 (+0.18%)       Melbourne $497,833 (-0.44%)       Brisbane $540,964 (-1.56%)       Adelaide $441,967 (-0.38%)       Perth $442,262 (+1.33%)       Hobart $525,313 (+0.38%)       Darwin $347,105 (-0.72%)       Canberra $496,490 (+0.93%)       National $528,262 (-0.02%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,189 (-104)       Melbourne 14,713 (+210)       Brisbane 7,971 (+283)       Adelaide 2,420 (+58)       Perth 6,383 (+298)       Hobart 1,336 (+6)       Darwin 228 (-12)       Canberra 1,029 (+8)       National 44,269 (+747)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,795 (-1)       Melbourne 8,207 (+293)       Brisbane 1,636 (+1)       Adelaide 421 (-4)       Perth 1,664 (+15)       Hobart 204 (-1)       Darwin 404 (-2)       Canberra 988 (+12)       National 22,319 (+313)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $800 (+$5)       Melbourne $600 ($0)       Brisbane $640 (+$10)       Adelaide $600 ($0)       Perth $660 ($0)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $700 ($0)       Canberra $690 ($0)       National $663 (+$2)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $750 ($0)       Melbourne $590 (+$10)       Brisbane $630 ($0)       Adelaide $490 (+$10)       Perth $600 ($0)       Hobart $475 (+$23)       Darwin $550 ($0)       Canberra $570 (+$5)       National $593 (+$4)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,364 (+80)       Melbourne 5,428 (+4)       Brisbane 4,002 (+12)       Adelaide 1,329 (+16)       Perth 2,113 (+91)       Hobart 398 (0)       Darwin 99 (-5)       Canberra 574 (+39)       National 19,307 (+237)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 7,687 (+257)       Melbourne 4,793 (+88)       Brisbane 2,098 (+33)       Adelaide 354 (-11)       Perth 650 (+5)       Hobart 135 (-1)       Darwin 176 (-9)       Canberra 569 (+14)       National 16,462 (+376)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.59% (↑)      Melbourne 3.15% (↑)      Brisbane 3.45% (↑)        Adelaide 3.57% (↓)       Perth 4.12% (↓)       Hobart 3.79% (↓)     Darwin 5.45% (↑)      Canberra 3.61% (↑)      National 3.33% (↑)             UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 5.21% (↓)     Melbourne 6.16% (↑)      Brisbane 6.06% (↑)      Adelaide 5.77% (↑)        Perth 7.05% (↓)     Hobart 4.70% (↑)      Darwin 8.24% (↑)        Canberra 5.97% (↓)     National 5.84% (↑)             HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.8% (↑)      Melbourne 0.7% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.0% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.1% (↑)      Brisbane 1.0% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 0.5% (↑)        Hobart 1.4% (↓)     Darwin 1.7% (↑)      Canberra 1.4% (↑)      National 1.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND       Sydney 29.7 (↑)      Melbourne 30.9 (↑)      Brisbane 31.2 (↑)      Adelaide 25.1 (↑)      Perth 34.4 (↑)      Hobart 35.8 (↑)      Darwin 35.9 (↑)      Canberra 30.4 (↑)      National 31.7 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND       Sydney 30.0 (↑)      Melbourne 30.5 (↑)      Brisbane 28.8 (↑)        Adelaide 25.2 (↓)       Perth 38.3 (↓)       Hobart 27.8 (↓)     Darwin 45.8 (↑)      Canberra 38.1 (↑)      National 33.1 (↑)            
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What It’s Like to Retire in Istanbul

After living for 25 years in New York, a couple moved to Turkey. Despite some challenges, they are glad they did.

By ERIC FARBER
Mon, Apr 24, 2023 8:30amGrey Clock 4 min

In 1979, my wife and I married in Detroit and immediately moved to New York City. That was our home for 25 years—until we retired and later moved to Istanbul in 2004.

Why do we live in Turkey? Turks themselves frequently ask us, often with an air of incredulity.

Even as a young child I was interested in history. It became my dream to live close to the centres of the Ancient World. I love that the district where we now live, on the Asian side of the Bosporus, across from Constantine’s acropolis, was once known as Chalcedon. The town appears on the 13th-century Mappa Mundi, whose reproduction hangs on our office wall.

But most important, we have found a sense of community here that seems increasingly rare in big cities of the West. In our neighbourhood, Moda, we walk almost every day—to our bakery, butcher and fruit-and-vegetable markets, to our restaurants and bank, doctors and barbers—all places where we are known and greeted. People stop us to say hello.

The neighbourhood is expensive by local standards, especially for housing. Our apartment cost $500,000 years ago, and we have spent $100,000 more on changes and renovations. Real-estate agents tell us that today we could ask $1.5 million if we were to sell. A monthly fee of less than $300 covers our heating, maintenance of the common areas, gardening, a large outdoor swimming pool and the salary and payroll taxes of the building’s live-in super.

Our large living-room windows look out on the Sea of Marmara and the western sky. This view is the main reason we bought our apartment. Often, cruise ships glide past, or a supertanker heading for the Black Sea. In the distance we can see the Hagia Sophia, a mighty edifice in both size and history. Built in the sixth century as an Orthodox cathedral, it later became a mosque, then a museum, only to become a mosque again in 2020.

We no longer own a car. If we can’t walk to it, there are taxis and other forms of public transportation. Istanbul’s funky street life is improvised, hectic and refreshingly unregulated. We love it and miss it when we travel elsewhere.

It’s a short walk along the seaside to the ferry that takes us to the European side of the city in 20 minutes. On the boat, vendors pass through with tea and juices. Where we disembark, more vendors sell roasted chestnuts, mussels with savoury stuffing, roast corn, and fish sandwiches. Old men sell lottery tickets, and fortunetellers use live rabbits to select slips of paper of the kind found in fortune cookies.

We didn’t choose Turkey seeking an inexpensive lifestyle, but it is what we were lucky to get. Because our income is in dollars, the plunging value of the Turkish lira has worked in our favour despite high inflation. The two of us can have a full meal without alcohol in a fine restaurant for about $25. Turkish cuisine is good and plentiful in our neighbourhood restaurants, but Chinese, Japanese and Italian dishes have become options, too.

It has been relatively easy to make friends with Turks and fellow expats. We have a social life that is easy and rewarding. Many of our friends are younger than us and are a great help at times—particularly in dealing with government bureaucracy.

To live as foreigners in Turkey requires a residence permit that the government renews every two years. It’s a Byzantine process—we can truly say that here—that is never the same twice and can become fraught with tension as we try to figure out and obtain the changing documentation required. At times like this, it is good to have a Turkish friend to help us.

We exercise at our local gym, where I pump iron three mornings a week and my wife, Kay, does Pilates. Healthcare has become a large issue as we’ve grown older. For some years I had private insurance equivalent to what I would have had in the U.S. Although Kay, who is eight years younger than I am, remains insured through the same company, that insurer cancelled me when I turned 75. Since then, I have paid my healthcare costs in a private hospital out of pocket. The wonder is that I’ve gotten first-class healthcare, including an important operation, for a cost we could easily afford. I’ll add that Istanbul’s private hospitals are very modern, comfortable and easy to navigate.

We feel safe here. It is a comforting thing to be able to walk through our neighbourhood, even at night, without fear. The city historically has been subject to destructive earthquakes, such as those that recently ravaged parts of southeastern Turkey and Syria. But, so far, we’ve experienced no tremors of any consequence.

The winter here is rainy and cold, but it rarely freezes. Spring and autumn are long, and there is plenty of heat in July and August.

There are, to be sure, some challenges.

Although public transportation is plentiful, it can be maddening as well. The system lacks the same convenience one finds in a city like New York.

Turkish isn’t a simple language to learn—at least for us. Partly this is the fault of our ageing brains and hearing. But I also find that Turks are prone to speak quickly.

As for shopping, while international products are more available than before, our choices are still limited. Also, many products are of a lesser quality than what we were used to in the U.S.

We have to manage our financial affairs by long distance, and this can be frustrating at times.

Finally, while the internet and email are great, we miss not seeing our friends and family in the U.S. more often.

On balance, though, we are more than satisfied with our lives here. Our travels have taken us to many countries, and we know that no place is perfect.

Retirement gives one the opportunity to discern the themes and through-lines of our lives. As I reflect on the key choices I’ve made in life, I realise that what I’ve chosen most often is a sense of freedom and a variety of experience. Our expatriate life is one of those choices.



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New research suggests spending 40 percent of household income on loan repayments is the new normal

By Bronwyn Allen
Thu, Apr 25, 2024 3 min

Requiring more than 30 percent of household income to service a home loan has long been considered the benchmark for ‘housing stress’. Yet research shows it is becoming the new normal. The 2024 ANZ CoreLogic Housing Affordability Report reveals home loans on only 17 percent of homes are ‘serviceable’ if serviceability is limited to 30 percent of the median national household income.

Based on 40 percent of household income, just 37 percent of properties would be serviceable on a mortgage covering 80 percent of the purchase price. ANZ CoreLogic suggest 40 may be the new 30 when it comes to home loan serviceability. “Looking ahead, there is little prospect for the mortgage serviceability indicator to move back into the 30 percent range any time soon,” says the report.

“This is because the cash rate is not expected to be cut until late 2024, and home values have continued to rise, even amid relatively high interest rate settings.” ANZ CoreLogic estimate that home loan rates would have to fall to about 4.7 percent to bring serviceability under 40 percent.

CoreLogic has broken down the actual household income required to service a home loan on a 6.27 percent interest rate for an 80 percent loan based on current median house and unit values in each capital city. As expected, affordability is worst in the most expensive property market, Sydney.

Sydney

Sydney’s median house price is $1,414,229 and the median unit price is $839,344.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $211,456 to afford a home loan for a house and $125,499 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $120,554.

Melbourne

Melbourne’s median house price is $935,049 and the median apartment price is $612,906.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $139,809 to afford a home loan for a house and $91,642 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $110,324.

Brisbane

Brisbane’s median house price is $909,988 and the median unit price is $587,793.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $136,062 to afford a home loan for a house and $87,887 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $107,243.

Adelaide

Adelaide’s median house price is $785,971 and the median apartment price is $504,799.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $117,519 to afford a home loan for a house and $75,478 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $89,806.

Perth

Perth’s median house price is $735,276 and the median unit price is $495,360.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $109,939 to afford a home loan for a house and $74,066 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $108,057.

Hobart

Hobart’s median house price is $692,951 and the median apartment price is $522,258.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $103,610 to afford a home loan for a house and $78,088 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $89,515.

Darwin

Darwin’s median house price is $573,498 and the median unit price is $367,716.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $85,750 to afford a home loan for a house and $54,981 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $126,193.

Canberra

Canberra’s median house price is $964,136 and the median apartment price is $585,057.

Based on 40 percent serviceability, households need a total income of $144,158 to afford a home loan for a house and $87,478 for a unit. The city’s actual median household income is $137,760.

 

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